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Patient experiences on inpatient psychiatric wards: does this information get used to improve outcomes?

Project Description

EURIPIDES (Evaluating the Use of Patient Experience Data to Improve the Quality of Inpatient Mental Health Care is a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)funded study that worked in five NHS Trusts to consider how patient experiences were used to improve the quality of care. Some of the NHS organisations had high levels of staff from minority ethnic backgrounds and some did not; some had higher minority ethnic patients. Of note was that experiences of racism were reported by about a fifth of patients, and most felt these experiences were not taken seriously, which undermined their own care, trust in the organisation, but also ignoring an important experience for them and for staff. Staff were generally less keen on talking about discrimination and prejudice, and overall there was not always a mechanism for using patient experiences to improve care practices. Patients who witnessed or experienced racism appeared to lose faith in the care. Qualitative data exists from a number of interviews conducted in the five NHS Trusts. This data arose organically during interviews about giving feedback on experiences, and was not the core focus of the original study. However, it yields a useful starting point for further study and could be used to develop and refine initial programme theories and to create a logic model as a basis for further realist research. These data include reference to interpersonal experiences, as well as organisational and societal influences. Further research with these data could help develop an understanding of why societal inequalities enter care experiences and institutions, and how these may be prevented.

The PhD studentship offers an opportunity to make use of these data to better understand how patient experiences of inpatient care can influence care processes, and what prevents that happening. Specifically, the student can improve the understanding of what constitutes racism and discrimination, how it is experienced and what might be seen as an interpersonal experience or an institutional or societal one, and how this relates to care outcomes. The data are gathered in the context of a variety of other information about the organisations and care experiences in general, and so can shed light on how general care experiences relate to those of discrimination. There will also be opportunities to consider further data collection and relate to other national and international projects that also seek to improve health inequalities and improve care experiences, especially in inpatient settings.

All candidates should hold a Master’s qualification (or complete their Master’s by September 2019) in an appropriate discipline and have a minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent in their first degree. Applicants should preferably have knowledge of the UK health and care system. All applicants are required to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. They should also be willing to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary and multi-professional teams.

Project-specific skills and experience required

Experience of in depth qualitative research methods, realist research and reviews
A good grounding in social and cultural research is also desirable, especially if this includes population and health services research experience on health inequalities and how to tackle these.


For general enquiries, please email:
For project specific queries, please contact: Prof Kamaldeep Bhui:


For applications and other information please visit our main NIHR CLAHRC North Thames funded PhD studentships page:

CLAHRC Research area: Mental health

Funding Notes

Start date: 01/10/19
Duration: 3 years, full time
Stipend: £17,803
Institution: QMUL

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.61

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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